VOICES: Apprenticeships provide pathway for transforming talent

Today marks the end of National Apprenticeship Week, and now more than ever, employers are turning to the earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship model to address their pressing workforce challenges.

Registered apprenticeship programs are a win-win for businesses and students. Businesses develop a workforce the way they need them to be skilled and secure a talent pipeline for the future. Students earn a great wage while they learn the trade without racking up student loan debt, and oftentimes, they earn college credits, too.

Ohio is currently ranked third nationally for the number of apprentices and first in the Midwest, with just over 21,000 apprentices, but we need more.

In Ohio, we are fighting for and winning some of the largest economic development projects in the world, like Honda and Intel. The rust belt days are gone, and these companies are going to need skilled IT and high-tech manufacturing talent. And building these new facilities is creating a demand in the construction trades, unlike anything Ohio has seen in recent memory.

The earn and learn apprenticeship model is becoming increasingly popular because you start earning immediately and there is no debt. These are in-demand jobs with job security, good benefits and upward mobility.

This is why employers, high schools, career centers and higher education institutions all must work together to make it easier to use the apprenticeship model, fill these jobs, and help Ohioans get access to the education and career opportunities that will allow them to live their version of the American dream.

Many of the apprenticeship programs available in Ohio are also utilizing TechCred, the state’s employer-driven credential reimbursement program for their employees. Some examples of eligible training providers for TechCred include universities, community colleges, Ohio technical centers (adult career centers), and private training providers. Employers are eligible to be reimbursed up to $2,000 per credential per employee and up to $30,000 per application period. To learn more about this option, visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.

For more information about becoming an apprentice or becoming a sponsor, visit Apprentice.Ohio.Gov.

Jon Husted is Ohio’s Lt. Governor.

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